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The fear of being laughed at: Individual and group differences in gelotophobia


Ruch, Willibald; Proyer, Rene T (2008). The fear of being laughed at: Individual and group differences in gelotophobia. Humor - International Journal of Humor Research, 21(1):47-67.

Abstract

Single case studies led to the discovery and phenomenological description of Gelotophobia anti its definition as the pathological fear of appearing to social partners as a ridiculous object (Titze 1995, 1996, 1997). The aim of the present study is to empirically examine the core assumptions about the fear of being laughed at in a sample comprising a total of 863 clinical and non-clinical participants. Discriminant function analysis yielded that gelotophobes can be separated from other shame-based neurotics, non-shame-based neurotics, anti controls. Separation was best for statements specifically describing the gelotophobic symptomatology and less potent for more general questions describing socially avoidant behaviors. Factor analysis demonstrates that while Gelotophobia is composed of a set of correlated elements in homogenous samples, overall the concept is best conceptualized as unidimensional. Predicted and actual group membership converged well in a cross-classification (approximately 69% of correctly classified cases). Overall, it can be concluded that the fear of being laughed at varies tremendously among adults and might hold a key to understanding certain forms of humorlessness.

Abstract

Single case studies led to the discovery and phenomenological description of Gelotophobia anti its definition as the pathological fear of appearing to social partners as a ridiculous object (Titze 1995, 1996, 1997). The aim of the present study is to empirically examine the core assumptions about the fear of being laughed at in a sample comprising a total of 863 clinical and non-clinical participants. Discriminant function analysis yielded that gelotophobes can be separated from other shame-based neurotics, non-shame-based neurotics, anti controls. Separation was best for statements specifically describing the gelotophobic symptomatology and less potent for more general questions describing socially avoidant behaviors. Factor analysis demonstrates that while Gelotophobia is composed of a set of correlated elements in homogenous samples, overall the concept is best conceptualized as unidimensional. Predicted and actual group membership converged well in a cross-classification (approximately 69% of correctly classified cases). Overall, it can be concluded that the fear of being laughed at varies tremendously among adults and might hold a key to understanding certain forms of humorlessness.

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52 citations in Web of Science®
65 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Psychology
Dewey Decimal Classification:150 Psychology
Uncontrolled Keywords:bullying; gelotophobia; laughter; mobbing; ridicule
Language:English
Date:2008
Deposited On:05 Sep 2008 14:50
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 12:27
Publisher:De Gruyter
ISSN:0933-1719
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1515/HUMOR.2008.002
Official URL:http://www.degruyter.de/journals/humor/detail.cfm
Other Identification Number:IDS Number: 278SS

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